Long weekend sees domestic tourists rushing to Goa
After six months, Goa tourism is finally seeing its first busy long weekend. Gandhi Jayanti (Friday) coinciding with the weekend has led to the influx of domestic tourists in a big way.
Non-starred hotels too have made gains though not in a big way. Goa will do well with increased domestic tourists even as the footfalls will be lesser than past seasons, said Nilesh Shah, president of Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG).
“Many of the hotels have sold out. In some cases, the occupancy has been 70-80% and some hotels have 100%,” the TTAG president said.
Of a total of 3,870 hotels, Shah said, over 600 have resumed operations and more will follow suit in the coming days. A starred hotel in North Goa had a three-night package, including air travel, at Rs18,000.
Former TTAG president Savio Messias said it is totally a buyers’ market and hotels will have to offer discounted packages. “All hotels are offering the best value packages and trying to attract tourists,” said Shah, adding that with more airlines resuming operations to Goa, the inflow of travellers will rise.
“At the moment top-end hotels are benefiting the most. Gradually, smaller hotels too will get business. Even customers are calling seeking information,” he said.
He said China is experiencing a boom in domestic tourism with international travel restrictions in place. India will also go through a similar experience once Covid cases dip and a vaccine is available in the market. “Goa will benefit being the country’s favoured holiday destination,” he said.
He added that the key to success will be to follow all guidelines, standard operating procedures and safety norms.
With the 7th season of the Indian Super League (ISL) set to commence in November in Goa, starred hotels have seen increased bookings. “Teams are already in Goa for training sessions. Besides the organisers, sports channel crew and officials are also camping in Goa,” said Messias.